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Survey Says: Myles Turner among most likely to have a breakout season

GM Survey distinguishes the 21-year-old center as the Pacers’ only standout feature, basically

NBA: Indiana Pacers-Media Day Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The results of the NBA’s annual GM Survey are in and as expected the Indiana Pacers received no mention outside of general optimism about Myles Turner.

A year after being praised for their questionable offseason moves, including pegging Jeff Teague as the second-most underrated player acquisition, the league’s decision-makers unsurprisingly didn’t show any love for Victor Oladipo or Domantas Sabonnis in the same category this go-around.

Further salting the already existing wound, the majority of the general managers agreed that nobody had a better offseason than the Oklahoma City Thunder (43%) and named Paul George as the recently traded player most likely to have the biggest impact on his team (59%).

On the bright side, Turner did finish tied for second with Kristaps Porzingis (14%) behind Karl-Anthony Towns (21%) in the voting for most likely to have a breakout season.

By comparison, Indiana’s 21-year-old anchor used fewer of his team’s possessions while he was on the floor last season (22.0%) than either Porzingis (24.4%) or Towns (27.4%).

In fact, he only averaged 49.3 touches per contest, which was fewer than Jeff Teague (77.0), Paul George (62.7), and Thaddeus Young (50.5). Considering that the two players atop Indiana’s possession food chain are now on different teams, it seems reasonable to project him capable of doing more with more.

Especially if, as the team’s No. 1 option, he is purposefully fed a more steady diet of looks beyond the arc rather than last-ditch, pick and pop scraps from the elbow when the offense breaks down.

Notably, Towns and Porzingis take and make more threes than Turner. Reducing his ratio of mid-range shots (337) to three-point attempts (115) would likely yield his tough-to-contest release more points per attempt.

Whether or not Turner can meet the general manager’s expectations in his first season as the guy is yet to be determined, but watching him try will arguably be one of the team’s few compelling features, as the survey reflects.